Arson Under the New York Penal Law
Essentially, arson involves an individual accused of setting a fire or explosion. There are various degrees of severity of arson charges under New York law in Section 150 of the Penal Law, which range from a misdemeanor to an extremely serious felony. The penalties associated with these charges range from an alternative sentence without jail time up to the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison to life.
A misdemeanor charge of arson involves the defendant intentionally starting a fire or an explosion to damage another person’s property. The lowest level of felony arson is arson in the fourth degree, which involves setting a fire or explosion to recklessly damage a building or vehicle. Penalties for this charge can range from one to four years in jail, but there is the possibility of alternative sentencing to avoid jail time. Arson in the third degree is considered a C felony under New York law. It is punishable by up to 15 years in jail, but alternative sentencing can be an option. This is the same charge as arson in the fourth degree, except it involves intentionally setting fire to a building or vehicle.
The most serious arson charges include arson in the first and second degrees. Arson in the second degree is classified as a class B violent felony under New York law and can be punished by up to 25 years of jail time. This is the same charge as arson in the third degree, except that the defendant knew that there was a reasonable possibility that a person was in the vehicle or building, a person was present in the vehicle or building and the perpetrator intentionally started a fire or explosion. Arson in the first degree is considered a class A-1 felony under New York law. It can be punished by up to life in prison if convicted. Under the law, this charge is treated with the same severity as murder. It covers the same events as under second degree arson, but it also includes that it was either caused by an explosive device or someone other than the perpetrator was injured or the fire or explosion was set for financial gain.
If you have been charged with any degree of arson, there is a strong possibility of seeking jail time. Besides seeking to have the charges dropped, it is important to minimize the possible consequences of a conviction by getting the lowest sentence possible. This is where an experienced advocate is your asset. You need to move quickly in defending your rights and take a proactive approach to making the most of this situation.
Raiser & Kenniff, PC Defends Against Arson Charges in New York
If you are facing arson charges in the state of New York, turn to the experienced legal team at Raiser & Kenniff, PC to protect your rights and safeguard your freedom. Take advantages of our free consultation offer with our top attorneys by calling 212-274-0090. This is not the time to delay in protecting your future and making sure that you are around to take care of your loved ones. At Raiser & Kenniff, PC, we understand the implications of this serious charge against you and will fight vigorously to make sure that you are able to reach the resolution possible for your situation. Do not trust just anyone to protect your rights. Depend on the trustworthy and knowledgeable attorneys at Raiser & Kenniff, PC to fight hard for you.
If you live in New York City and have been charged with arson – experienced and professional assistance is available from the attorneys of Raiser and Kenniff, PC. We understand the seriousness of an arson crime and the long sentence that may be handed down by a court. Our legal experts will look into the evidence in your case, perform a thorough investigation and present you with all possible options. You will be kept informed and know exactly where you stand.
In the city of New York, there are different degrees of arson. Any conviction of arson can result in a permanent record, which will have a negative impact on your life regardless if it is a misdemeanor or a felony. Our New York City firm has skilled attorneys who can assist if you are charged with any of the following:
• Fifth-degree arson is charged when an individual causes non-permissive damage, in the form of explosion or fire, to the property of another. This crime is a Class A misdemeanor.
• Fourth-degree arson is charged when an individual causes an explosion or fire that causes damage to a vehicle or building in a reckless manner. This crime is a Class E felony. If you are accused of fourth-degree arson, you should obtain the services of a skilled arson lawyer immediately.
• Third-degree arson is charged when an individual causes the destruction by fire of a vehicle or building where it is not evident that there were people inside. This crime is a Class C felony.
• Second-degree arson is charged (and may be an elevation from the third-degree charge) when the accused individual was aware that a non-involved person was inside the car or building when the explosion or fire occurred. This crime is a Class B felony.
• First-degree arson is charged when an individual uses an incendiary device or accelerant to cause a fire for financial gain that causes harm to persons inside the structure. This crime can bring a sentence of life imprisonment.
If you are accused of arson at any level, it is crucial that you obtain the services of legal counsel immediately. You have a much better chance of avoiding conviction with a skilled felony lawyer working on your behalf. Contact the criminal lawyers at Raiser & Kenniff, PC, today at (212) 274-0090.